Ask Lord Bobo: Cheras Scousers, Religion, and Nose-picking

From the Selangor Times Issue 38, 19-21 August 2011. Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurus-described queries are answered!

Lord Bobo, the English Premier League has started! Are you as excited as most of us are? What do you think of Liverpool’s chances of reliving our glory days? (Born & Bred Scouser, via email)

His Supreme Eminenceness shares the excitement of his minions in all aspects of their lives, and this includes football. However, Lord Bobo doesn’t regularly watch football, English or otherwise. There is something about being all-knowing that takes away from the excitement and drama of watching Manchester United come from 2-0 down to win 3-2 with a last-minute winner.

Lord Bobo also doesn’t quite understand the tribalism and fanaticism that many Malaysian football fans indulge it when it comes to teams which are located across the globe. Recently, when Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool came to Kuala Lumpur to play Malaysia, it was reported that some Malaysian fans didn’t even cheer for the national team. Which is kind of strange. We don’t think it is too much of a stretch to say that you, “Born & Bred Scouser” have in fact never been to Liverpool, and are actually born and bred in Cheras or something.

As for Liverpool’s chances, hey, you should know better than to ask that. Lord Bobo is, as always non-partisan in all things (though we do like a party, son).

Dear Lord Bobo, does a religion need defending? (JT, via email)

In Malaysia these days, defending religions appears to have become one of the hottest fads amongst politicians, both in the mainstream and the margins. Lord Bobo reckons it could be a by-product of all the comic and superhero movies that have been released non-stop over the past decade.

Everyone wants to be a superhero, and what could be more heroic than defending God? If politicians had it their way, they would probably go around with a cape, wear their underwear over spandex tights, with a big “R” logo on their chests – Religion Man! But anyway, since politicians are known for doing nothing and pretending it’s something, we must consider the reasonableness of this current past time. So let us first consider religion. What is it?

A religion is the rituals and doctrines of a faith claimed to be divinely inspired. In the Abrahamaic tradition, religion emanates from God, as does the entire fabric of creation. Clearly, in this tradition, God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent – all knowing, ever present, and invincible. Religion is supposed to allow mankind to appreciate, be guided by, and approach God in a proper way. In doing so, adherents are supposed to live just, generous, and kind lives. That is why the Abrahamaic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam resonate the same fundamental message – justice, humility and piety.

As much as religion inspires one to a way of life amongst mankind, it is borne out of each person’s personal nexus and conviction with God. It is this latter aspect that makes the question of religion no one else’s business except your own. The former aspect of communality however does not mean that one human being is entitled to judge over the religiosity of another human being; instead the relationship faithful adherents should have to one another should be governed by a respectful humility. The humility stems from the fact that God knows more than humans. So for another human being to make a pronouncement on matters reserved for God (such as another’s religiosity) would be to try and assume God’s role. That, as one can readily appreciate, is blasphemy.

Since the foundations of religions are rooted in the divine, there is no question of needing to defend a religion. And how is a mere human supposed to protect the product of the most powerful force in existence? So the suggestion of “protecting religion” actually implies that God is incapable of protecting it on His own. It could also imply that God doesn’t care about His own religion enough to bother protecting it. Both these inherently implicit inferences indicate just how lowly politicians think of God when they lay claim to defending His religion. So these politicians actually think little of God and very highly of themselves. In fact these politicians in truth think themselves a god. How else can you psychologically explain a human being that seeks to defend God?

So the answer to the question is yes – religions need to be defended, but only against politicians, because they fancy themselves as gods.

Lord Bobo, I recall being told in school that giving my nose a good dig during Ramadhan means I will “batal puasa”. No one has been able to give me a conclusive answer on this. Help? (Gold Digger, via email)

Wow. What a question. His Supreme Eminenceness must admit that we were momentarily stumped by this outrageous, though seemingly simple, query. Following consultations with various minions, imams, Syariah lawyers, religious gurus and pasar ramadhan stall operators, we are no closer to knowing the answer. Everyone sort of agrees that it has something to do with “intent” – whether one “intentionally” stuck one’s finger up one’s nasal cavity. Which really doesn’t help with making it any less of a grey (or brown, depending on the kind of air you’ve been breathing) area really.

During the discussions, various other conundrums also came up – what if one is sitting at one’s office desk at 11am, and a piece of bread from breakfast dislodges itself from one’s teeth? Is one allowed to swallow the said piece of bread? Baffling.

In conclusion, who cares? Stop digging your nose anyway – it’s a filthy habit for goodness sake.

Have a question for Lord Bobo? Call on His Supreme Eminenceness by emailing [email protected], stating your full name, and a pseudonym (if you want), or tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #asklordbobo. The first 100 questions published will receive monkey-riffic LoyarBurok merchandise courtesy of Selangor Times. What the hell are you waiting for? Hear This, and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional if you are somewhere very warm)! Liberavi Animam Meam! I Have Freed My Spirit!

You can read archives of all the Ask Lord Bobo columns by clicking here. These are the divinely-inspired words of His Supreme Eminenceness Lord Bobo Barnabus PhD SP GBE OMGWTFBBQ.

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Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurus-described queries are answered! It is the ONLY place that His Supreme Eminenceness' thoughts are regularly channeled, via His Lordship's most loyal meditating purple-banana munching minions.

Posted on 22 August 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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